The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA), revised in 2008, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, offer protections for students with diagnosed disabilities. The ADAAA defines “disability” as (a) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of an individual; (b) a record of such impairment, or (c) being regarded as having such impairment. Under this legislation, students requesting University services for individuals with disabilities are required to submit current and comprehensive documentation of their disabling condition.
Documentation of a medical condition or chronic illness should meet the following requirements:
- Documentation should be in the form of a practitioner’s letter (written on professional letterhead ) or full report.
- Documentation should include the evaluator’s credentials , signature and date.
- The healthcare professional should be qualified to make the diagnosis in question.
- The letter or report should include functional limitations as they apply to full participation in the University both academically and socially, and should clearly connect the requested accommodations to those functional limitations.
- A list of current medication and an explanation of impacts of medication on daily academic functioning should be provided.
- Specific recommendations about accommodations in the classroom as well as housing accommodations, if applicable , should be included.
- Recommendations for safety (e.g. emergency evacuation) should also be included if applicable.
- No accommodation can be implemented retroactively.